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When his brother Bunny vanishes from the Toronto City Hall skating rink, Spencer, a budding filmmaker, finds himself plunged into the stuff of movie thrillers: kidnapping, terrorists, intrigue, a missing document, a world-famous pop star, disguises, romance and a rogue alligator. As he races the clock to save his brother, he must sort the real from the make-believe and unravel a murder mystery involving his grandfather. The last time Spencer got tangled up in an adventure from his grandfather’s past, he didn’t believe it was for real. Now he can’t get anyone to believe him when he says that Bunny has been kidnapped and that someone is going to die.
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Ted STau nTo n Coda
Copyright ©2014Ted Staunton
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Staunton, Ted,1956, author Coda / Ted Staunton. (The seven sequels)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459805491 (pbk.).isbn 9781459805507 (pdf). isbn 9781459805514 (epub)
I. Title. ps8587.t334c63 2014jc813’.54 c20149015518  c20149015526
First published in the United States,2014 Library of Congress Control Number:2014935390
Summary:When Spencer’s brother, Bunny, is kidnapped in Toronto, Spencer is forced to deal with fallout from their grandfather’s murky past.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Chantal Gabriell Cover photography by Corbis Images, Dreamstime, CGTextures and iStock
orca book publishers orca book publishers poBox5626, Stn. BpoBox468 Victoria,bcCanada Custer,wa usav8r 6s4 982400468 www.orcabook.com
17 16 15 14
4 3 2 1
To Seven kith and kin: Eric, John, Norah, Richard, Shane and Sigmund
To See all of The couSinS’ TravelS check ouT ThiS online map.
Too See how all of The couSinS are connecTed, check ouT ThiS family Tree.
codan.final passage of piece of music, usu. elaborate or distinct p ocket oxford english dictionary
“What are you, English, a paid assassin, a hired killer?” “All soldiers are that,” I said. —len deighton,billiondollar brain
ToronTo: december 27 Bunny’s gone. I stepped off the ice to get us sausages from the truck, whichhewanted (my brother doesn’t get street meat these days), and now, when I turn back, he’s vanished. What’s with that? I hoover a sausage and scope the place. I saw the latest James Bond movie before Christmas, and I’ve been doing his laser stare ever since. I think I rock it, even with glasses. Q should be talking in my earbud. The rink at city hall is hopping tonight: skaters in bright colors, Christmas decorations, tinny music, cold.
Ted STaunTon
At the far side, the scaffolding is set up for the New Year’s Eve concert stage. This year it’s Aiden Tween. Since I’m not a twelveyearold girl, I plan to miss it. Meanwhile, the hiss of blades on ice reminds me of the Komodo dragons Bond escaped from inSkyfall.I whip out my phone and grab a few seconds of video. I imagine an overhead shot, patterns of people flowing, Bond zipping through them. Hey, a chase scene on ice! I bet no one’s ever done it. I could use Bunny—he’s a good skater. But Bunny’s not skating. Maybe he’s hit the washroom. Before I check, I take time to polish off his sausage too. I guess I’m hungrier than I thought. Besides, Bunny’s not the only person I’m looking for. I haven’t seen AmberLea since September, and it might be nice to meet her on my own. I don’t see AmberLea either. I fire Bun a text— —then AmberLea:where r u skating remember? I turn to look for Bunny near the sausage truck and hear my ringtone, those eerie first notes fromThe Good, the Bad and the Ugly.dig out my I phone again. AmberLea has texted: . I get it; pan 180 AmberLea is in firstyear film school, like me. I turn around and there she is, on the ice right behind me.
“Hey!” I say. “Spencer!” It’s not Oscarquality dialogue, but I’ll take it. AmberLea’s arms are stretched out. Is this for a hello hug or just for balance? Should I go for the hug? What if it’s a bad call? I solve the problem by forget ting I’m wearing skates as I step forward. I stumble onto the ice and practically land on top of her. “Whoa!” She helps me stand up. “Hey, new glasses. Like ’em.” I fumble them back into place. I’ve replaced my wire frames with clunky black ones, which are very cool right now. Plus, they go with the old curling sweater I found in a vintage store, decorated with crossed brooms and deer antlers. I am now urban cool. AmberLea says, “There’s mustard on your chin.” “What? Oh, sorry.” I swipe at my chin. So much for cool. “No problem.” She gives me a real hug. AmberLea looks great, as usual. Her blond hair sweeps out from under the same kind of hat Dad got Bunny and me for Christmas. I instantly revise my opinion on wooly yellowandblue hats with earflaps and tie strings. Maybe I’ll wear mine after all. I see she has matching mittens too. All in all, AmberLea makes a
Ted STaunTon
great picture—until someone else barges into the frame. A big guy showers me with ice flakes in a perfect hockey stop. “This is Toby,” AmberLea says. “We’re friends at school.” “Hey,” says Toby. He’s wearing the same hat.I rerevise my opinion and make a mental note to give my hat to the first street person I see. Underneath the hat, Toby has a perfect swoop of brown hair and a perfect, stubbly face above a perfect suede bomber jacket with a perfect long, preppy scarf that matches the hat. I know his skates are expensive, because Bunny has the same kind. I hate him already. I shake hands with Toby (who doesthat?), trying for my best manly man grip. He says, “AmberLea’s told me about you,” in some kind of clipped American accent. I wonder which parts she told him. “She was probably just kidding,” I say. Toby laughs. That doesn’t help. “So,” AmberLea says, “let’s skate.” Uhoh. I was so anxious to see AmberLea, I never thought about the actual skating part. The only ice I can handle is in a glass of Scotch—and that’s not even my line; it’s from a movie about a killer glacier. I don’t even drink Scotch.